Dr. Huacheng Zeng has been awarded a 3-year NSF grant.

Here is the abstract:

Recent movement to open up radio access network (RAN) interfaces, led by the O-RAN Alliance, has introduced a new paradigm for future wireless networks. With its key features of openness and intelligence, O-RAN enables a ``mix-and-match? approach to RAN development and deployment, allowing telecom carriers to select the best hardware and software from different vendors. Such openness also catalyzes the integration of machine learning (ML) based intelligence into the RAN and promises further performance improvement. This project aims to address several major challenges in O-RAN, with the objective of enhancing its performance, intelligence, and trustworthiness. Through innovation in wireless algorithm and protocol design, ML, and network security, this project expedites the evolution of O-RAN ecosystem. The outcomes of this project provide valuable insights to the wireless industry and academic research community regarding new potentials, challenges, and innovative solutions surrounding O-RAN technologies. Moreover, the project promotes the participation of women and students with diverse backgrounds in wireless communications and computer science research while enhancing pedagogical activities through new course materials.

This project aims to enhance the performance, intelligence, and trustworthiness of O-RAN by tackling several fundamental challenges across its control loops of three different time scales. The project consists of three interconnected research thrusts. The first thrust focuses on real-time multi-user multi-input and multi-output (MU-MIMO) beamforming in O-RAN?s distributed unit (O-DU). It develops a data-driven approach for beamforming that accounts for channel uncertainty. The second thrust focuses on the design of ML algorithms for MU-MIMO control within the near-RT RAN Intelligent Controller (RIC). It establishes an optimization-based framework to generate high-quality labeled datasets for training ML models. The third thrust aims to advance knowledge of the vulnerabilities of ML models in the non-RT RIC of O-RAN and develop safeguard solutions against data manipulation attacks. The three research thrusts are tightly integrated vertically within the O-RAN architecture and their outcome lays the foundation for designing a comprehensive solution for O-RAN.

(Date Posted: 2023-09-07)